Eataly and NorthPark Center Confirm the Italian Food Experience Is Coming to Dallas

NorthPark Center, considered one of the top malls in the U.S., has a deal with Eataly, one of the hottest global food concepts that has so far only opened in just a handful of U.S. cities.The hybrid eatery and specialty grocer turns food into entertainment with its ambience, tasting events, restaurants, classes and the sheer discovery of deep selections of all ingredients Italian.The NorthPark store will open in 2020 and it will be the first location for Eataly in Texas. It will be three levels — two in the mall and one more added to the top for a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The store will have an interior escalator and more places to eat on its second floor. The building is between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.The authentic concept was created by Italian businessman and investor Oscar Farinetti after he traveled across Italy's 20 regions to find the best local growers and producers of cheese, meats, olive oil, breads and of course pasta. He opened the first Eataly in Torino in 2007.The single-cuisine food emporium set off a trend of food hall imitators since the U.S. flagship opened in New York City's Flatiron neighborhood in 2010. When Eataly opened in Chicago, the reaction was so overwhelming that it had to close for a day of "refueling" after 120,000 people passed through its doors during the first week, according to local news reports."Dallas is a city that we have always had our eye on," said Nicola Farinetti, CEO of Eataly North America. "It's an important, diverse, and cultural city — perfect for Eataly. During the various times that we've visited, everyone on our team liked it."And where to put a store in Dallas apparently came easy to Eataly, Farinetti said."When I dedicate time to explore a new city, I look at many different areas," he said. "It helps you understand and gives you a better idea of the place. Right from the start, NorthPark seemed like the best choice to everyone by far."At NorthPark, Eataly will go into remodeled space on the west side of the mall facing Boedeker Street that's been vacant since late 2017 when upscale home appliance retailer Pirch closed all its stores outside of California in a restructuring."Eataly has created an entirely new dining genre that has become a mecca for food lovers everywhere," said Nancy Nasher, who's president and co-owner of NorthPark Center with her husband David Haemisegger.The store is one of those sensory experiences that will complement a shopping center filled with original artwork, unique landscaping and a park in its middle. NorthPark was among the first malls in the U.S. to think beyond food courts and add multiple full-service restaurants to its mix, making it more of a destination."We are thrilled," Nasher said, calling Eataly "one of the most successful food-retail concepts of all time."Eataly has six stores in the U.S.: two in New York City plus stores in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. There are 39 Eatalys around the world, including a dozen in Italy. Eataly will open in Toronto in 2019.Chicago was the largest Eataly in the U.S. when it opened in 2013 at 63,000 square feet. It's located the Shops at North Ridge just off Michigan Avenue known as the city's Magnificent Mile. Westfield Century City Mall's Eataly, which opened in 2017, is now the biggest in the U.S. at 67,000 square feet. The Los Angeles mall is being closely watched by a shopping center industry that's seen many properties deteriorate while others are becoming stronger in their markets. "NorthPark is a really great example of a retail development not only in Dallas — or even Texas — but, I would say, worldwide," Farinetti said. "It's a place focused on quality and service, where everything is always impeccable. For us, it was an easy choice."Nasher and Haemisegger "understood the project immediately," he said.One of the constants at NorthPark is that it is always bringing in new retailers and trying to attract first stores to the market such as Dolce & Gabbana. Other stores coming soon are Saint Laurent, Alexandre Birman, Golden Goose and Isabel Marant. Canadian retailer Aritzia with a differentiated fashion apparel mix that goes way beyond the wardrobe basics opened last week on level one between Neiman Marcus and Dillard's.  Continue reading...

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